Quebec premier says province will cap flood compensation
François Legault says province will offer to buy homes after cap reached
Quebec Premier François Legault says the province will help compensate homeowners dealing with flooded properties — but he also wants to ensure taxpayers don't pay for those repairs again and again.
Legault made the comments Monday while touring flood-damaged Gatineau, Que.
He said his Coalition Avenir Québec government will offer up to $100,000 to homeowners dealing with damage caused by the April 2019 floods, but that would be the upper limit and the government would not endlessly cover residents' bills.
Legault said once the government pays out $100,000, it would then offer to buy the home at a maximum cost of $200,000.
"We cannot [offer] every year compensation to solve problems, but only on a temporary basis," he said. "We really need incentives to move the people when it's happening every year or almost."
- In Pointe-Gatineau, residents try to prevent repeat of 2017 floods
- Nearly 50 homes evacuated in Gatineau
Legault checked in with the city's emergency operations centre and then went to the Pointe-Gatineau neighbourhood to survey the damage.
That neighbourhood flooded in 2017 and homes there are under threat again.
'Leave with dignity'
Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin said all options have to be on the table, and that not everyone will willingly leave their neighbourhoods, even if they are at risk of regular flooding.
Pedneaud-Jobin said he hopes to explore flood protection options for some communities, while also being open to helping people leave.
"We either protect the neighbourhood, or we ask the people to leave," he said. "But we give them enough resources to leave with dignity."
The premier said about 100 homes had been affected by the flood waters in Gatineau, but that number could rise to nearly 1,000, echoing comments made on the weekend by Pedneaud-Jobin.
Legault also said he was impressed with the efforts people were making to prepare for the rising waters.
Authorities are expecting river levels in the Ottawa-Gatineau area will peak on Saturday.